From the Hendon & Finchley Times, 4 September 1925 (including teams) :
Hampstead Town opened their last season on the Child's Hill ground with a victory against Redhill, the champions of the Athenian League, by four goals to two. The result may have flattered the home side, but having regards to the composition of the teams, Hampstead deserve full credit. Redhill, with one exception, fielded last season's successful eleven; Hampstead, on the other hand, had five new faces, and only one of last year's forward line was available. Young and Irwin were out of the team through injuries; Seabrooke is playing for Watford Old Boys; while an eleventh-hour defection was S. Smith, who was away on trial with Plymouth Argyle. He has since signed professional forms for Guildford United. New players included H.L. Pease, late of Summerstown, who at centre-half promises to be one of the best captures the club has made; S.A. Wilkinson, of Sheppey United, who signalled his debut at centre-forward by scoring three goals; S.E. Cousins, inside-right, who has played for Gorleston; while Smith's place at outside-left was taken by N.J. Markwick, an Army footballer. R.S. Clarke, who played once or twice at the end of last season, partnered R.F. Brazier at back.
Hampstead men, led by R. Wardlaw, the captain, had a good reception when entering the field. While no ground records were broken, there was a very good attendance, and much interest was displayed in the extensive and expensive ground alterations, necessitated by the encroachment of the new arterial road to Watford.
For some time, Hampstead were mainly on the defensive, and at the end of five minutes Finn gave Redhill the lead by kicking though from a melee in front of goal, though Goodwin touched the ball twice. It looked odds on Redhill increasing the score, the home forward line being very inept, and affording little or no encouragement to their supporters. A good deal of work fell upon Hampstead's defence, in which Pease and Brazier shone brilliantly, saving the side again and again. Wise tried valiantly to pull the forwards together, but whenever they got within shooting reach their aim was uncertain. Harris certainly put in one or two good centres, but was not helped much by his partner. However, at the end of twenty minutes, Wilkinson, following some clever work by Barnes, equalised the scores, and the success of the new centre-forward seemed to act as a tonic. The Town had somewhat the better of the exchanges, but from a breakaway on the left Wilkins again put Redhill in front by deflecting a centre by Finn past Goodwin. Two minutes later Wilkins netted again, but this time was adjudged offside, this being the only case throughout the whole game. Wise looked to have a good chance of equalising, but shot wide. Pease was perhaps better positioned for shooting, but he preferred to rely upon Wise driving the ball home. However, it was not long before the teams were on level terms again. In attempting to clear a centre from Markwick, Church put through his own goal: and a minute or two later Hampstead, for the first time, took the lead, Wilkinson scoring his second goal after Cousins had made an opening.
On resuming Redhill began to press, but taking the game throughout the second half, Hampstead quite held their own, and had the satisfaction of scoring the only goal, this being credited to Wilkinson, who hooked the ball into the net well out of Rose's reach. As on the occasion of their last visit, the Redhill defence was not equal to the standard of their attack, and as the game advanced the Hampstead forward line, backed up by a strong middle line, peppered the Redhill goal, Wise having the hardest of luck with one of the best shots of the match.
Taking the game throughout it was fast and interesting, and the introduction of the new rule relating to offside should tend to brighten play and make scoring easier.
The best of the visiting side were Church, Goddard and Finn. On the home side Pease and Brazier were outstanding players. Goodwin saved a number of good shots, but his place kicking was not so powerful as we have known it to be. Clarke did fairly well at back, improving as the game proceeded. The half-back line was strong when it settled down. Wardlaw had to be carried off the field, but fortunately was not long absent. The forward line is likely to undergo some changes, as although four goals were scored, weaknesses were apparent.
From the Surrey Mirror, 4 September 1925 (including teams) :
History repeated itself on the Hampstead Town ground at Cricklewood-lane, on Saturday, when the home team had for their opponents in their first match of the season Redhill, who came as champions of the Athenian League and were defeated by 4-2. The weather was reminiscent of June, and there was a big crowd to welcome the advent of the popular winter game. The Redhill team was practically the same as that which finished last season with such flying colours, but Hampstead were compelled at short notice to put in the field a new forward line, with the exception of Wise, who was the only one of last season's vanguard remaining. It was, however, early evident that the new players were worthy substitutes. They included S.E. Cousins, who had been playing for Gorleston in the Suffolk League and represented his county on several occasions, and S.A. Wilkinson, who has had an experience of Kent League football with Sheppey United. As the pivot of the forward line he was a great success, and was responsible for three goals. The game was a typical early season struggle, the result being in doubt until nearly the end. It could not by any stretch of imagination be characterised as a brilliant game, though there were spasms of good play by the home forwards. The constant breaking away of their left wing was an outstanding feature, and showed up the weakness of the visitors' defence. Redhill's forwards, too, were quite unable to get together, a fault which was perhaps excusable on account of the little practice they had been able to indulge in. Goddard was on the slow side, and with Wilkins missed chances galore. Long and Jeffrey bore the brunt of the defence for Redhill, but were not as resourceful and reliable as the home defenders, who played well. Hampstead well deserved their victory.
The opening exchanges were only mediocre, each side breaking away in turn, but it was early apparent that Hampstead were opportunists, and Rose had to handle a shot from Wilkinson. The visitors' left wing then made a spurt, initiated by Long. Finn sent down a beautiful centre, which struck the upright, and Goodwin cleared just in time to avert immediate disaster. The ball, however, was kept within the danger zone, and Finn with a nice tap put the ball into the net, the game only having been in progress a few minutes. Immediately after the re-start, Daniels and Wilkins raced away, and the home custodian was called upon twice to save, once at the cost of a corner, which was, however, not followed up to advantage. Wilkinson and Wise caught the Reds' intermediate line napping, and Webb was forced to kick back to Rose to save a dangerous situation. In the succeeding few minutes the home attack prevailed, and three attempts were made to equalise. After a short cessation they came on again, and Markwick had the best of a tussle with Ross. After a fine run he sent in a lovely centre, which Rose handled and threw out, but before the Redhill defence had time to recover, Wilkinson was on the ball and equalised. Inspired by their success, Hampstead played with greater resource. Redhill's defence tottered on occasion to the danger point, and Rose was called upon to deal with some likely looking shots, one grass-cutter being stopped in the nick of time. Danger came from both wings, yet eventually Wilkins put the away side leading from a centre. In the play which immediately followed, Wilkins missed a glorious opportunity by hesitating when he only had the goalkeeper to beat at short range. Danger came again from the home left wing, and Jeffrey in attempting to trap the ball was chagrined to see it go into his own goal before Rose had the slightest chance to act. The Reds replied with a rush movement, but combination was lacking and the home defence had little difficulty in maintaining their superiority. Towards half-time Hampstead again attacked and caused Rose some anxious moments, Wilkinson eventually finding the net again and placing his side the lead by 3-2 at the interval.
Redhill did most of the pressing during the first few minutes of the second moiety, but were sadly lacking in resource in front of goal, many openings going begging. Hampstead again became aggressive, and whenever they got within shooting range made things warm for the visitors' defence. For a time the defence stood the attacks, though there were many narrow escapes, but eventually Wilkinson improved upon the home score with a well-timed shot, which came quickly after a clearance by Rose, who barely had time to recover. Hampstead were now having by far the better of the game, and some of their movements were a treat to watch. On the other hand, Redhill lacked constructive play, and what individual efforts were made were not sufficiently followed up to bring any tangible results. But to be fair it must be admitted that all the players worked hard enough; there was just that lack of understanding and judgment which counts so much in goal-getting. There was no further scoring.